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2000 New England Youth Conference - Vermont

Becky Taylor & Cindy (Lawson) Whitaker competed in the Lip Sync competition Friday night - Becky took second in the 14-20 age group Cindy took first in the 21-35 group. Becky's song was "It's My Party" & Cindy's was about a waitress in an all-night diner - the name of which I didn't get.  A young group of kids from Rhode Island took first with a hip hop song about a girl in the red dress.   The male lead did an excellent job & the girl in the red dress was very cute.

On Saturday, we had several workshops that were well received.  The SolarFest group from nearby Middletown Springs did an interactive workshop on solar energy & there was a self defense class.  The National Youth Team Members - Matt & Lisa Johnson, from Massachusetts & Mike Tau, from Pennsylvania - did a team building workshop that the kids loved.

The Public Speaking & Sign-a-song competitions were on Saturday afternoon.  Steve Tracey took 3rd place in the 35+ age group for Public Speaking & Cindy Whitaker took 1st place in the 20-35 age group.  Michael Holden took first place in Sign-a-Song for the 3rd year in a row (1998 he tied with Cindy Lawson).  Look for him at the National Conference in Fresno, CA in November. Check this link for more info ->http://www.nationalgrange.org/Conv_2000.htm

Saturday night was the banquet & dancing.  Awards were announced after dinner & Matt Johnson gave the Youth Address.  Jeff Wetzel was sorely missed by all, but Matt, Lisa & Mike did a terrific job as National Hosts.

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Sunday morning brought the Drill Team competition.  We had to have a last minute substitution because one of our leaders didn't make it.  Mike H filled in for Veronica Nantel & did a terrific job.  Rhode Island started the competition off with a bang.  They were awesome & we had the daunting task of following them.   The team was nervous but held it together - they had no major breaks in the routine.  New Hampshire had a bouncy routine that was fun to watch - my vote for most original choreography goes to them.  Massachusetts was solid again this year - their synchronization was the envy of all.  I spoke to Lisa Johnson, their coach, & she said they practice for 4-5 months before the competition.  It shows - and they won again for the second year.  We were very surprised & excited when Vermont was announced as the second place finishers.  Rhode Island finished 3rd & New Hampshire was 4th.  Maine and Connecticut did not have teams this year.

Although attendance was low, spirits were high & all the kids seemed to have a really good time.  On behalf of the Vermont State Youth Committee, I'd like to extend our appreciation to those who did attend.  The kids were all well-behaved, had lots of fun & made the weekend very enjoyable.  Thanks to Green Mountain College for being the host site.

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